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Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Ninoy Aquino
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).svg
Ninoy Aquino International Airport aerial view.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerDepartment of Transportation
OperatorManila International Airport Authority
ServesGreater Manila Area
LocationParañaque and Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
(74 years ago)
Hub for
Focus city forPhilippines AirAsia
Time zonePHT (UTC+08:00)
Elevation AMSL23 m / 75 ft
Coordinates14°30′30″N 121°01′11″E / 14.50833°N 121.01972°E / 14.50833; 121.01972Coordinates: 14°30′30″N 121°01′11″E / 14.50833°N 121.01972°E / 14.50833; 121.01972
Map of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Complex

Map of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Complex
MNL/RPLL is located in Manila
Location in Manila, Philippines
MNL/RPLL is located in Philippines
MNL/RPLL (Philippines)
MNL/RPLL is located in Southeast Asia
MNL/RPLL (Southeast Asia)
MNL/RPLL is located in Asia
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 3,737 12,261 Asphalt
13/31 2,367 7,408 Asphalt/Concrete
Statistics (2021)
Decrease 29.86%
Total international flights34,537
Decrease 18.70%
Total domestic flights56,433
Increase 16.15%
Cargo (in tonnes)588,370.92
Increase 10.19%

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA /ˈnə/, locally /nɑː.ˈ.jə/; Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Ninoy Aquino or Pandaigdigang Paliparan ng Ninoy Aquino; IATA: MNL, ICAO: RPLL), originally known as Manila International Airport (MIA), is the main international airport serving Manila and the metropolitan area of the same name. Located between the cities of Pasay and Parañaque, about 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) south of Manila proper and southwest of Makati. NAIA is the main gateway for travellers to the Philippines and serves as a hub for Cebgo, Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, and Philippine Airlines, as well as a base for Philippines AirAsia. It is managed by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), an agency of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).[2]

The airport is named after Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. (1932–1983), who was assassinated at the airport on August 21, 1983.

Officially, NAIA is the only airport serving the Metro Manila area. However, in practice, both NAIA and Clark International Airport, located in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, serve the metropolis, with Clark catering mostly to low-cost carriers because of its lower landing fees compared to those charged at NAIA. In the recent past, there have been calls for Clark to replace NAIA eventually as the primary airport of the Philippines.[3]

There were 45,082,544 passengers handled at all NAIA terminals in 2018, an increase of 6.79% over the previous year.[4] It will be complemented by two new airports, the New Manila International Airport, located in Bulacan, to serve both Metro Manila and Central Luzon, and Sangley Point Airport, located on reclaimed land in Cavite City. After the completion of the two new airports, NAIA will be made into a domestic airport also catering to general aviation, maintenance, cargo, air taxis, business flights, and state/diplomatic visits.[citation needed]


Old Nielson Field Terminal Tower.
Old Nielson Field Terminal Tower.
Nichols Field runway with Manila in the background, taken prior to 1941
Nichols Field runway with Manila in the background, taken prior to 1941

Early history

The original airport that served Manila, Grace Park Airfield (also known as Manila North), was opened in 1935 in Grace Park, Caloocan. It was the city's first commercial airport and was used by Philippine Aerial Taxi Company (later Philippine Airlines) for its first domestic routes.[5] In July 1937, Manila International Air Terminal, located in the 45-hectare (4,800,000 sq ft) Nielson Airport was inaugurated and served as the gateway to Manila. Its runways now form Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas in Makati.[6] In 1948, following Philippine independence from United States, the airport was moved to its current site adjacent to the Villamor Airbase, which was then called Nichols Field, due to the easier terrain gradient, expanse of greenfield land, and the USAF base runway (Runway 13/31) which could be used for the airport.[7] The original structure was built on what is now the site of Terminal 2.

In 1954, the airport's longer international runway and associated taxiways were built, and in 1956, construction was started on a control tower and a terminal building for international passengers. The new terminal was inaugurated on September 22, 1961.[8] On January 22, 1972, a fire caused substantial damage to the original terminal building, which also resulted in six casualties,[9] and a slightly smaller terminal was rebuilt in its place the following year. This second terminal would serve as the country's international terminal until 1981 when it was converted to a domestic terminal, upon the completion and opening of a new, higher-capacity terminal, known today as Terminal 1.[10] The old international terminal was later damaged by another fire in May 1985.

Assassination of Ninoy Aquino and renaming

Main article: Assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.

One year after its opening, the present-day Terminal 1 became the scene of a controversial event in Philippine history on August 21, 1983. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. was assassinated at the terminal's Gate 8 (now Gate 11) after returning to the Philippines from his self-imposed exile in the United States. Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM) personnel escorted Aquino out of the plane to the tarmac where a van owned by the agency awaited him. A single gunshot was heard, which was then identified as the shot that killed Aquino. Several shots burst out, killing the alleged assassin, Rolando Galman. Seconds later, a barrage of gunfire erupted, causing chaos in the plane, the tarmac, and the terminal. The bodies of Aquino and Galman lay on the tarmac; Aquino's body was loaded onto the van, which then sped away. Ironically, his flight number, China Airlines 811, was the same flight number that was involved in an accident three years ago at the same airport, although the aircraft involved in the 1983 assassination was a Boeing 767-200. Four years after the incident, during the presidency of Ninoy's wife Corazon Aquino in 1987, Republic Act No. 6639 was enacted without executive approval,[11] renaming the airport in Ninoy's honor.[12] Presently, a body mark of Aquino's assassination is on display at the departures area. The spot at Gate 8 where he was killed has a memorial plaque.


Plans for a new terminal were conceived in 1989, when the Department of Transportation and Communications commissioned Aéroports de Paris to conduct a feasibility study to expand capacity. The recommendation was to build two new terminals, and in 1998 Terminal 2 was completed. Terminal 2 was nicknamed the "Centennial Terminal" as its completion coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain. In 1997, the government approved the construction of Terminal 3, which was originally scheduled to be completed in 2002. After many delays caused by technical and legal issues, the terminal became partially operational in mid-2008 and fully operational in August 2014.[13] The government aims to return services from many of the airlines which cancelled services to Manila as a result of Terminal 1's problems.

The original proposal for the construction of a third terminal was proposed by Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation (AEDP).[14] AEDP eventually lost the bid to PairCargo and its partner Fraport AG of Germany, who went on to begin construction of the terminal under the administration of Joseph Estrada. In August 1997, President Fidel V. Ramos led the groundbreaking ceremony of Terminal 3.[14] The structure was mostly completed several years before, and was originally scheduled to open in, 2002. The ultra-modern US$640 million, 189,000-square-meter (2,030,000 sq ft) facility was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) to have a capacity of 13 million passengers per year.[15] However, a legal dispute between the government of the Philippines and the project's main contractor, Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco), over the build-operate-transfer contract, delayed the final completion and opening of the terminal.[16]

Terminal 3 construction and delays

While the original agreement was one in which PairCargo and Fraport AG would operate the airport for several years after its construction, followed by a handing over of the terminal to the Philippine government, the government offered to buy out Fraport AG for $400 million, to which Fraport agreed. However, before the terminal could be fully completed, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, called the contract "onerous" and therefore formed a committee to evaluate the agreement to buy out Fraport AG. It is this action that sparked the most controversy.[citation needed] The Philippine Supreme Court eventually found the Piatco contract "null and void" citing a variety of anomalies.[17]

The administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo eventually abrogated Piatco's BOT Contract for allegedly having been anomalous in certain important respects. In a subsequent decision, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld the Philippine Government's position on the matter and declared the BOT contract "null and void" for, among other things, violations of certain provisions of the BOT law. More specifically, the Court found that the original contract was revised to allow for a Philippine government guarantee of Piatco's obligations to its creditors, contractors and suppliers. The BOT law disallows the granting of such sovereign guarantees. Piatco disagrees and continues to maintain that the provisions cited by the Supreme Court do not amount to a prohibited sovereign guarantee by the Philippine Government.[18]

In December 2004, the Philippine government expropriated the terminal project from Piatco through an order of the Pasay Regional Trial Court. However, the court only allowed the Philippine government to take over the terminal upon payment of an initial amount of ₱3 billion (approximately US$64 million) to Piatco. The Philippine government paid Piatco this amount during the second week of September 2006. According to the Philippine government, NAIA-3 was 98% complete (prior in 2006) and required at least an additional US$6 million to complete. The government was then in the process of negotiating a contract with the builder of the terminal, Takenaka Corporation, because another factor that delayed the terminal's opening was the ongoing investigation into the collapse of a 100-square-meter (1,100 sq ft) area of the terminal's ceiling.[19]

Piatco (and its German partner, Fraport) have instituted arbitration proceedings before different international bodies to recover a fair settlement. [needs update] Piatco sued the government before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Singapore. Fraport separately sued the Philippine government at the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington.[20] In 2007, the ICSID case was decided in favor of the Philippine government because of a violation of Philippine law by Fraport. However, this decision was annulled in 2010 due to a violation of Fraport's right to be heard.[21] A new proceeding before the ICSID is ongoing.[22][needs update] Piatco formally withdrew its second application to set aside the earlier ICC ruling that dismissed its claims against the Philippine government in December 2011. The ICC ruling in favor of the Philippine government became final and executory in 2012.[23]

Through Executive Order No. 732, the NAIA Terminal 3 Task Force was created[24] and Michael Defensor was appointed on June 19, 2008, as head, with a mandate "to ensure the immediate opening and operation of Terminal 3." The order provided for the NAIA-3 opening based on decisions of the Supreme Court and applicable laws.[25]

After several delays, Terminal 3 began partial operations at 5:15 am on July 22, 2008, with 16 inbound and outbound domestic flights from Cebu Pacific. Philippine Airlines' subsidiary PAL Express (then known as Air Philippines and AirPhil Express) moved their operations to the terminal two days later.[26] Cebu Pacific moved all of its domestic and international operations to the terminal on August 1, 2008.

On August 1, 2010, then-president Benigno Aquino III announced plans to utilize Terminal 3 to its maximum capacity by the Christmas season, which would potentially mean moving international carriers to Terminal 3, but the goal was never reached.[27]

The Philippine government made a new plan where Terminal 3 would be fully operational by the end of 2011, but lowered their goal to 55% operational after further study.[28] The move of international carriers began in February 2011 with All Nippon Airways (ANA) starting a new service to Manila from Terminal 3, rather than Terminal 1 with other international carriers.[29] On July 31, 2014, Terminal 3 became fully operational.[30] ANA was the only foreign carrier at Terminal 3 until October 1, 2014, when nine international airlines, namely Delta Air Lines, KLM, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, United Airlines, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, transferred operations from Terminal 1.

Extortion scam reports

Main article: 2015 Ninoy Aquino International Airport bullet planting scandal

In October 2015, reports of an extortion scam concerning bullets planted by airport security officials in airline passengers' luggage (dubbed in the local media as the "tanim-bala scam") spread, creating a scare among travellers.[31] Former Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte, then a presumptive presidential candidate in the 2016 Philippine presidential election, further alleged that a syndicate was behind the series of incidents. Duterte said the operation had been going on for more than two years.[32] Malacañang Palace and the Philippine Senate have since conducted an investigation of the incidents. Jose Angel Aquino Honrado, the chairman of MIAA, which manages the airport, is President Benigno Aquino III's first cousin.[33][34] In April 2016, a similar incident occurred.[35]

Rehabilitation plans and contemporary history

On February 12, 2018, a consortium of seven conglomerates consisting of Aboitiz InfraCapital Incorporated, AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, Alliance Global Group Incorporated, Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation, Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, submitted a ₱350 billion, or US$6.75 billion, 35-year unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate, expand, operate, and maintain the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.[36][37] The consortium's airport rehabilitation and expansion proposal will be divided into two phases: the improvement and expansion of terminals in the current NAIA land area, and the development of an additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals, and associated support infrastructure. Changi Airport Consultants Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd., will provide technical support for their unsolicited proposal.[38] Singapore's Changi Airport Group is also eyeing a 30-percent stake in this venture.[39] DOTr is expected to finish its evaluation of the proposal by April 2017.[36][needs update]

On February 28, 2018, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez from the House of Representatives on Wednesday announced an extension of the deadline for airlines, from 45 days to six months, to transfer some of their flights to Clark International Airport to decongest the airport.[40][41]

On March 1, 2018, Megawide Construction Corporation and its India-based consortium partner GMR Infrastructure, the consortium which revamped the Mactan–Cebu International Airport, submitted a ₱150 billion, or US$3 billion, proposal to decongest and redevelop the airport as well.[42][43] GMR-Megawide, unlike the aforementioned consortium, is not pushing for the construction of a new runway. According to GMR Megawide Mactan–Cebu International Airport Corp. chief executive adviser Andrew Harrison, such a structure would not significantly boost capacity.[43]

The NAIA consortium pulled out of the rehabilitation project due to undisclosed issues, and thus Megawide-GMR took over the project.[44] On December 15, 2020, however, the Manila International Airport Authority revoked the original proponent status (OPS) of Megawide-GMR, who then filed a motion for reconsideration on December 21.[45] MIAA denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Megawide-GMR on January 25, 2021.[46] In August 2022, the Department of Transportation announced a rebidding of the project by 2022.[47]


Volume of passengers

Passengers at the arrivals area of Terminal 1.
Passengers at the arrivals area of Terminal 1.

This table of passenger movements at MNL is based on the data from Airports Council International (ACI)[48] and the Manila International Airport Authority.[1]

Annual passenger traffic at MNL airport. See Wikidata query.
Calendar Year Passenger movement % Change Rank
2003 12,955,809 Steady 81
2004 15,186,521 Increase17.2 75 (Increase6)
2005 16,216,031 Increase6.8 77 (Decrease2)
2006 17,660,697 Increase8.9 73 (Increase4)
2007 20,467,627 Increase15.9 64 (Increase9)
2008 22,253,158 Increase8.7 57 (Increase7)
2009 24,108,825 Increase8.3 51 (Increase6)
2010 27,119,899 Increase12.5 49 (Increase2)
2011 29,552,264 Increase9.0 46 (Increase3)
2012 31,878,935 Increase7.9 45 (Increase1)
2013 32,865,000 Increase3.1 45 (Steady)
2014 34,015,169 Increase3.5 49 (Decrease4)
2015 36,681,601 Increase7.84 49 (Steady)
2016 39,516,782 Increase7.73 47 (Increase2)
2017 42,022,484 Increase6.34 44 (Increase3)
2018 45,082,544 Increase7.28 42 (Increase2)
2019 47,898,046 Increase6.25 39 (Increase3)
2020 11,145,614 Decrease76.73
2021 7,817,120 Decrease29.86

Cargo volume

This table of cargo volume (in tonnes) at MNL is based on data from the Manila International Airport Authority.[49][50]

Calendar Year International Domestic
Incoming Outgoing Total Incoming Outgoing Total
2009 114,510.68 137,454.13 251,964.81 50,694.88 46,334.56 97,029.44
2010 143,476.06 164,439.40 307,915.46 62,762.91 54,704.34 117,467.25
2011 139,901.34 150,603.97 290,505.31 57,862.02 62,009.72 119,871.74
2012 148,822.59 162,232.63 311,055.22 71,402.63 77,677.30 149,079.93
2013 93,159.95[a] 99,684.77[a] 192,844.72[a] 39,244.25[b] 47,407.90[b] 86,652.15[b]
2014 174,188.19 181,617.75 355,805.94 83,720.27 80,876.42 164,596.69
2015 158,072.44 161,072.75 319,145.19 130,915.43 136,829.91 267,745.34
2016 167,997.45 163,485.42 331,482.87 133,797.86 164,884.96 298,682.82
2017 207,872.83 209,249.66 417,122.49 95,796.46 149,338.04 245,134.50
2018 234,477.39 217,914.48 452,391.87 125,517.08 160,788.99 286,306.07
2019 228,269.21 216,998.45 445,267.66 126,959.85 149,480.58 276,440.43
2020 168,854.31 157,380.93 326,235.24 111,288.96 96,431.58 207,720.54
2021 226,744.60 197,832.70 424,577.30 86,654.99 77,138.63 163,793.62
  1. ^ a b c Data recorded is from January to August 2013
  2. ^ a b c Data recorded is from January to July 2013


Terminal 1

Exterior of Terminal 1
Exterior of Terminal 1

Terminal 1 (NAIA 1), also known as the "Ninoy Aquino Terminal", has an area of 73,000 square meters (790,000 sq ft). It was completed in 1981 and is the second oldest terminal at NAIA (after the Old Domestic Terminal, now called Terminal 4), with a design capacity of 4.5 million passengers per year[10] that was later expanded to 6 million passengers. The terminal currently serves foreign carriers operating in Manila, except for those in Terminal 3 (All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, KLM, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines). It also serves Philippine Airlines flights to and from Canada (Toronto and Vancouver) and the Middle East, except Dubai flights.[51] The detailed designs were adopted by the Philippine Government in 1974 and subsequently approved by the Asian Development Bank on September 18, 1975. Actual work on the terminal began during the second quarter of 1978. In 1989, a Master Plan Review recommended the construction of two new terminals (NAIA 2 and NAIA 3), as well as many other facility improvements.[52]

The development of the Manila International Airport was finally approved through the promulgation of Executive Order No. 381, which authorized the airport's development. In 1973, a feasibility study/airport master plan was done by the Airways Engineering Corporation through a US$29.6 million loan from the Asian Development Bank.[53] The detailed engineering design for the project was done by Renardet-Sauti/Transplan/F.F. Cruz Consultant while the terminal's detailed architectural design was prepared by Leandro Locsin's L.V. Locsin and Associates.[52] In 1974, the detailed designs were adopted by the Philippine Government. The designs were subsequently approved by the ADB on September 18, 1975. The government chose an area close to the original site of the former Manila Airport, deciding on an area of land governed by Parañaque, which was at the time a municipality of Metro Manila. The terminal is also the place where Senator Ninoy Aquino was assassinated on the tarmac in 1983.

The terminal reached capacity in 1991, when it registered a total passenger volume of 4.53 million. Since 1991, the terminal has been over capacity and has been recording an annual average growth rate of 11%,[52] but improvements to the airport have increased its capacity to 6 million passengers yearly.[54] Compared to international terminals in other Asian countries, Terminal 1 has consistently ranked at the bottom due to limited and outdated facilities, poor passenger comfort, and crowding.[55] From 2011 to 2013, Terminal 1 was on the list of worst airports in Asia and the world by the travel website "The Guide to Sleeping In Airports", ranking on number one.[56] Transport authorities planned to rehabilitate Terminal 1; the plans were approved by President Benigno Aquino III. The upgrade includes the expansion of the arrival area, addition of parking spaces, and improvement of other terminal facilities.[57]

The Transportation and Communications Department announced that as soon as Terminal 3 would become fully operational, Terminal 1 would become an exclusive terminal for Cebu Pacific, with surrounding facilities being transformed into an "Airport City".[58]

Renovations began on January 23, 2014, with plans to finish by May 2015.[59][60] Divided into six phases with 40% completion on December 16, 2014,[61] renovations included the installation of buckling restrained braces to strengthen the structural integrity of the building, and a much-needed improvement in the interior design of the terminal.[62] Ten international airlines operating from Terminal 1 transferred to Terminal 3 from 2014 to 2020, in an effort to decongest the terminal.[63][64][65]

Terminal 2

The airport's control tower in front of Terminal 2.
The airport's control tower in front of Terminal 2.

Terminal 2 (NAIA-2), also known as the Centennial Terminal, has an area of 75,000 square meters (810,000 sq ft), and is located at the Old MIA Road. It began construction in December 1995 and was inaugurated on May 1, 1999[66] and began operations in 1999. It has been named the Centennial Terminal in commemoration of the centennial year of the declaration of Philippine independence. The terminal was originally designed by Aéroports de Paris to be a domestic terminal, but the design was later modified to accommodate international flights.[67] It has a capacity of 2.5 million passengers per year in its international wing and five million in its domestic wing. It is able to be modified to accommodate nine million passengers per year if needed.[67]

Terminal 2 is exclusively used by Philippine Airlines and PAL Express for both its domestic and international flights. It is divided into two wings: the North Wing, for international flights, and the South Wing, which handles domestic operations. It currently has 12 jet bridges. There are several cafes and restaurants in the Terminal post-security. There is also a small duty-free section in the north wing. The need for two more terminals was proposed by a Master Plan Review of the Airport that was undertaken in 1989 by Aéroports de Paris (ADP). The study was facilitated by means of a grant from the French Government. The review cost 2.9 million French francs and was submitted to the Philippine Government for evaluation in 1990.[52]

In 1991, the French government granted a 30-million-franc soft loan to the Philippine government, which was to be used to cover the detailed architectural and engineering design of NAIA Terminal 2. ADP completed the design in 1992 and in 1994, the Japanese Government granted an 18.12-billion-yen soft loan to the Philippine Government to finance 75% of the terminal's construction costs and 100% of the supervision costs. Construction of the Centennial Terminal began on December 11, 1995, and was formally turned over to the government of the Philippines on December 28, 1998. The terminal became fully operational by 1999.[68]

In August 2014, DOTC formally announced their plan to expand of Terminal 2. The plan also incorporated building a structure interconnecting Terminals 1 and 2.[69] It included the demolition of the unused Philippine Village Hotel complex beside the terminal, awaiting the resolution of certain issues.[70] A fuel depot located between the terminals was transferred to the demolished area to make way for the expansion.[71] The 26 comfort rooms were renovated, with 16 being relocated to a passenger movement area.[72] Four of the 7 air-handling units were repaired and 21 additional units were installed to improve the temperature in the terminal.[needs update][73]

The terminal underwent rehabilitation starting in September 2018.[74] On February 16, 2021, Terminal 2's expansion was inaugurated. The area used for the expansion was 2,800 square meters (30,000 sq ft).[75]

Terminal 3

Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) is the newest and largest terminal in the NAIA complex. Construction started in 1997. Since construction, the terminal has been at the center of legal battles, red tape, and arbitration cases in both the United States and Singapore, as well as technical and safety concerns which delayed its opening several times.[16] Terminal 3 is built on a 63.5-hectare (157-acre) lot that sits on Villamor Air Base. The terminal building has a total floor area of 182,500 square meters (1,964,000 sq ft) and a total length of 1.2 kilometers (0.75 mi). It is capable of handling 13 million passengers annually.[65] A four-level shopping mall connects the terminal and parking buildings. The parking building has a capacity of 2,000 cars and the outdoor parking area has a capacity of 1,200 cars. The terminal is capable of servicing 33,000 passengers daily at peak or 6,000 passengers per hour.[76] A 220-meter-long (720 ft) footbridge that opened in April 2017, known as Runway Manila, connects the terminal with Newport City. The bridge contains moving walkways and can accommodate about 2,000 persons at any given time.[77]

The terminal has 24 boarding gates consisting of 20 contact gates accessible via jet bridges and four bus gates which transports passengers from the terminal to the plane via apron buses. Its apron area has a size of 147,400 square meters (1,587,000 sq ft) with the ability to service 28 planes at a time, later increased to 32 after the remote parking gates were increased from 8 to 12.[65] The terminal has 70 flight information terminals, 314 display monitors, and 300 kilometers (190 mi) of fiber optic I.T. cabling. It also has 29 restroom blocks. The departure area has five entrances all equipped with X-ray machines with the final security check having 18 X-ray machines. Its baggage claim has 7 large baggage carousels, each with its own flight display monitor.[67]

The terminal officially opened to selected domestic flights from July 22, 2008 (initially Cebu Pacific only, then Philippine Airlines' subsidiaries Air Philippines and PAL Express), with Cebu Pacific international flights using it from August 1, 2008.[78] All international operations, except for those from PAL, are intended to operate from Terminal 3 in the future, originally proposed to move in fourth quarter of 2010;[79] however, domestic carriers Cebu Pacific and PAL Express (then Air Philippines and became Airphil Express) remained the only tenants for the first two years of its operation. The vast majority of international flights still operate from Terminal 1, but All Nippon Airways became the first foreign-based carrier to operate out of Terminal 3 starting February 27, 2011.[80]

The terminal underwent a rehabilitation under the contractor Takenaka Corporation of Japan to improve its facilities and utilize the whole terminal. Previously, it only operated at half of its capacity awaiting the completion of the remaining system works.[81] The terminal became fully operational on August 1, 2014, leading to the transfer of five international airlines to Terminal 3 to ease congestion at Terminal 1, starting with Delta Air Lines on that day,[63] followed by KLM on August 4,[64] Emirates on August 15,[63] Singapore Airlines on September 1,[64] and Cathay Pacific on October 1.[64][65] Both United Airlines and Qantas relocated to Terminal 3 from Terminal 1 on October 28, 2018.[82] Middle Eastern carriers Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines transferred to Terminal 3 on December 1, 2018, and January 1, 2019, respectively.[83] Etihad Airways was also transferred to Terminal 3 on October 25, 2020.[84]

Terminal 4

Exterior of NAIA Terminal 4
Exterior of NAIA Terminal 4

Terminal 4[85] named as Manila Domestic Passenger Terminal, and still known as the Old Domestic Terminal, is the oldest of the four existing terminals, having been built in 1948.[citation needed] It is host to all domestic flights within the Philippines that are operated by Cebgo, among others. There are no jet bridges and passengers walk to and from the aircraft or are occasionally bussed. Twenty-six check-in counters are located in the terminal. The departure hall has the seating capacity for 969 people at a time. Several food stores and a book and magazine stall are also available. Five baggage carousels are located in the terminal while domestic airline offices, banks, restaurants and a grocery store are also located right beside the domestic passenger terminal.[86] The Domestic Terminal is on the old Airport Road near the north end of Runway 13/31. An old hangar has since been annexed to the terminal.

Terminal 4 remained closed as the airport resumed operations in June 2020 after the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon due to the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted. This caused flights of Cebu Pacific (through regional subsidiary Cebgo) and Philippines AirAsia to transfer to Terminal 3.[87] During its closure, the terminal was used as a vaccination site for employees of the airport. As demand recovers from the pandemic, Terminal 4 reopened on March 28, 2022, with Cebgo, Philippines AirAsia, and AirSWIFT returning its domestic operations to the terminal on the same day.[88]

Airlines and destinations


Air ChinaBeijing–Capital
Air JuanBusuanga
Air NiuginiPort Moresby
AirAsiaKuala Lumpur–International
AirSWIFTEl Nido, Tablas (begins September 24, 2022)[89][90]
All Nippon AirwaysTokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita
Asiana AirlinesSeoul–Incheon
Cathay PacificHong Kong
CebgoBusuanga, Camiguin,[91] Caticlan, Cebu, Legazpi, Marinduque,[92] Masbate, Naga, San Jose (Mindoro), Siargao, Virac
Cebu PacificBacolod, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beijing–Capital, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Caticlan, Cauayan, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Denpasar, Dipolog, Dubai–International, Dumaguete, Fukuoka, General Santos, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Iloilo, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Kalibo, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur–International, Legazpi, Macau, Melbourne, Nagoya–Centrair, Osaka–Kansai, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney,[93] Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tokyo–Narita, Tuguegarao, Virac, Xiamen, Zamboanga
China AirlinesKaohsiung, Taipei–Taoyuan
China Eastern AirlinesShanghai–Pudong
China Southern AirlinesGuangzhou, Shenzhen[94]
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa[a]
Etihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi
EVA AirTaipei–Taoyuan
Gulf AirBahrain
Hong Kong AirlinesHong Kong
Japan AirlinesTokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita
Jeju AirSeoul–Incheon
Jetstar AsiaOsaka–Kansai, Singapore[95]
Jetstar JapanNagoya–Centrair, Osaka–Kansai, Tokyo–Narita
KLMAmsterdam, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Korean AirSeoul–Incheon
Kuwait AirwaysKuwait City
Lanmei AirlinesPhnom Penh[96]
Malaysia AirlinesKuala Lumpur–International
Oman AirMuscat
PAL ExpressBacolod, Basco, Busuanga, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Calbayog, Catarman, Caticlan, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Legazpi, Naga, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, San Jose de Buenavista, Siargao, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Zamboanga
Philippine AirlinesAuckland, Bacolod, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beijing–Capital, Brisbane, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Dammam, Davao, Denpasar, Doha, Dubai–International, Fukuoka, General Santos, Guam, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Iloilo, Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Kalibo, Kuala Lumpur–International, Laoag,[97] Los Angeles, Macau, Melbourne, Nagoya–Centrair, New York–JFK, Osaka–Kansai, Phnom Penh, Port Moresby, Puerto Princesa, Quanzhou, Riyadh, San Francisco, Sapporo–Chitose, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver, Xiamen, Zamboanga
Seasonal: Wuhan (begins November 2, 2022)[98]
Philippines AirAsiaBacolod, Bangkok–Don Mueang, Cagayan de Oro, Caticlan, Cebu, Davao, Denpasar, Dumaguete, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City,[99] Hong Kong, Iloilo, Kalibo, Kaohsiung, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur–International, Macau, Osaka–Kansai,[100] Puerto Princesa, Roxas,[101] Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Singapore,[102] Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Zamboanga[103]
Platinum SkiesVigan
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Royal Air PhilippinesCharter: Nanning,[104] Sihanoukville
Royal Brunei AirlinesBandar Seri Begawan
SaudiaJeddah, Riyadh
Singapore AirlinesSingapore
SkyJet AirlinesBusuanga, San Vicente
Starlux AirlinesTaipei–Taoyuan[105]
Sunlight AirBacolod,[106] Busuanga,[106] Cagayan de Oro,[106] Cebu,[106] Puerto Princesa[106]
Thai Airways InternationalBangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul
United AirlinesGuam, Koror
XiamenAirQuanzhou, Xiamen
  1. ^ Ethiopian Airlines flights from Manila to Addis Ababa make a stop in Bangkok. However, the airline has no fifth freedom rights to carry passengers solely between Manila and Bangkok.


Air Hong KongHong Kong
Asia Cargo AirlinesSingapore
Asiana CargoSeoul–Incheon
Cathay Pacific CargoHong Kong
Cebu Pacific CargoCagayan de Oro, Davao
China Airlines CargoHong Kong, Penang, Singapore, Taipei–Taoyuan
Donghai AirlinesShenzhen
FedEx ExpressGuangzhou, Hong Kong, Memphis, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Sydney
Korean Air Cargo Penang, Seoul–Incheon
MASkargoHong Kong, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuching, Taipei–Taoyuan
My Indo Airlines Singapore
SF AirlinesShenzhen[107]
YTO Cargo AirlinesHangzhou[108]




NAIA has a primary runway that is 3,737 meters (12,260 ft) long and 60 meters (200 ft) wide,[110] running at 061°/241° (designated as Runway 06/24), and a secondary runway that is 2,367 meters (7,766 ft) long and 45 meters (148 ft) wide,[111] running at 136°/316° (designated as Runway 13/31). The primary runway was oriented at 06/24 in order to harness the southeast and southwest winds. Runway 13/31 is the runway of a former USAF base, Nichols Field, known today as Villamor Air Base. Out of the 550 planes that fly on NAIA daily, 100 of them take the secondary runway. It mostly caters to small private planes as well as Airbus A320 aircraft, and acts as the main runway of the NAIA Terminal 4.[112]

On May 26, 2012, Runway 06/24 was partially closed for the replacement of the threshold lightning system on the end of Runway 06.[113] Runway 13/31 was closed to give way for its renovation/expansion and reopened on May 29, 2013. The runway upgraded its length from 1,900 meters (6,200 ft) to 2,367 meters (7,766 ft).[114]

Runway 13/31 was closed in 2020 for rehabilitation works.[115] The runway was inaugurated and reopened on February 16, 2021, along with a newly constructed taxiway that opened on the same day.[116]

Third runway plan

Former Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya has proposed a new runway adjacent to the existing Runway 06/24.[117] The proposed runway has a length of 2,100 meters (6,900 ft) that could allow the landing of an Airbus A320 and increase the number of aircraft that the airport can handle from 40 planes per hour to about 60–70.[118] However, according to the consultant hired by the government, building the runway may affect the current operations in the main runway and considering building another terminal to be less disruptive.[119] Previously, the Japan International Cooperation Agency proposed Sangley Point in Cavite as the site of the new international airport serving the Greater Manila Area, meaning Sangley could serve as NAIA's third runway until the long-term expansion is planned.[120]

Airbus A380 capability

An Airbus A380 parked on its test flight in 2007.
An Airbus A380 parked on its test flight in 2007.

NAIA is one of two airports in the Philippines that meet the infrastructure requirements for the Airbus A380, the other being Clark International Airport. The airport provides MRO services conducted by Lufthansa Technik Philippines. On October 11, 2007, NAIA hosted the debut of the Airbus A380 in the Philippines, after test aircraft MSN009 (registered as F-WWEA) landed on Runway 24. The test flight demonstrated that the A380 could land on existing runways in Asia and that the primary international airport of the Philippines can support aircraft as large as the A380.[121]

However, according to Jose Angel Honrado, who served as MIAA General Manager from 2010 to 2016, NAIA is currently not capable of handling regular commercial flights on the A380, as it would "cause a lot of inconvenience and delay for other scheduled flights" due to the airport's runway and taxiway centerlines not reaching the "wing-tip-to-wing-tip clearance" safety requirement for the aircraft to operate at the airport on a regular basis.[122] Therefore, no airlines have regular commercial flights using this aircraft, although some airlines fly out their A380s to NAIA for maintenance at Lufthansa Technik Philippines. On October 7, 2014, Emirates flew their A380 to NAIA in a one-off commercial flight from and to Dubai to commemorate the transfer of the airline's operations to Terminal 3.[123] In command of the flight was Capt. Franklyn Desiderio, the first Filipino pilot certified to fly the Airbus A380.[124]


Lufthansa Technik Philippines

Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) (formerly PAL Technical Center) was founded in 2000 as a joint venture of German firm Lufthansa Technik (51%) and Philippine aviation service provider MacroAsia Corporation (49%). Lufthansa Technik Philippines offers aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to customers.

The company focuses on maintenance checks for the Airbus A320 family and A330/A340 aircraft. Seven hangar bays and workshops have been upgraded to the latest industry standards to support aircraft maintenance, major modifications, cabin reconfigurations, engine maintenance and painting for the Airbus A320 family, A330/A340, as well as the Boeing 747-400 and 777 aircraft. A new widebody hangar was recently added to meet the increasing demand for A330/A340 base maintenance checks.

The company also opened an Airbus A380 maintenance hangar to allow the aircraft to be repaired at the airport facility.[125] Lufthansa Technik Philippines opens A380 maintenance hangar. In July 2012, A Qantas Airbus A380 completed its passenger cabin reconfiguration. It is one of the 12 Airbus A380 that was cabin reconfigured in the LTP Manila's facility.[126] It also provides total technical and engineering support for the entire Philippine Airlines, PAL Express fleet and other international airline fleets as well.[127]

Aviation Partnership (Philippines) Corporation

Aviation Partnership (Philippines) Corporation is SIA Engineering's third line maintenance joint venture outside Singapore. The joint venture of SIA Engineering Company (51%) and Cebu Pacific Air (49%) provides line maintenance, light aircraft checks and technical ramp handling as well as other services to Cebu Pacific Air and third-party airline customers.


The airport also serves as a gateway facility of the logistics company DHL. On March 12, 2006, the company opened its first quality control center at NAIA Terminal 3 to show support in its local market.[128]

Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines operates several aviation facilities in the Philippines. These include various training facilities for pilots and cabin crew, catering services, as well as a data center and an A320 flight simulator.[129]

Philippine Airlines also maintains training facilities both for its pilots and other crew, composed of the PAL Aviation School, the PAL Technical Center, and the PAL Learning Center. The PAL Aviation School, located within the premises of Clark Civil Aviation Complex, provides flight training for its own operations and as well as for other airlines, the Philippine government and individual students. It currently operates ten Cessna 172Rs, five of which is fitted with a Glass Cockpit Garmin G1000 for student pilots' training with complete training facilities including simulators for the Airbus A320 and for turboprop aircraft (FRASCA 142). More than 5,000 students graduated from the PAL Aviation School, eventually joining the ranks of pilots at PAL and other airlines.

PAL Learning Center, located in Manila, serves as the integrated center for Philippine Airlines flight deck crew, cabin crew, catering, technical, ticketing and ground personnel. Located at the PAL Maintenance Base Complex in Pasay, the PAL flight simulator, designed to simulate an Airbus A320, can duplicate all flight conditions complete with sound and visual system capability for day, dusk and night operations.

Ground transportation

Inter-terminal transportation

The Manila International Airport Authority runs a shuttle bus system which connects all four terminals for passengers who have onward connections on flights departing from another terminal.[130] Shuttle buses run every fifteen minutes during daytime hours, but passengers are required to clear immigration and customs to use the system.

Philippine Airlines operates an airside shuttle service between Terminals 1, 2 and 3 for passengers connecting to onward PAL Express flights and vice versa.

External connections


See also: Premium Point-to-Point Bus Service

Nine city bus routes serve the airport from various points in Metro Manila, eight which go via Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), and one via Circumferential Road 5 (C-5). Route 18 or the PITX-NAIA Loop route of the Metro Manila Rationalized Bus Transit also stops at all four airport terminals and connects the airport to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange.

Ultimate Bus Experience (UBE Express) operates a Premium Airport Bus Service that serves on all NAIA Terminals and hotels and commercial areas located in the cities of Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Quezon City, Pasay, Pasig and Parañaque, all in Metro Manila and in the city of Santa Rosa in Laguna. It also has stops at JAM Liner, Philtranco and Victory Liner terminals in Pasay for passengers going to/coming from the provinces of Northern and Southern Luzon.

HM Transport provides an Airport loop shuttle bus and Premium Point-to-point bus service from Taft Avenue MRT Station and Alabang in Muntinlupa to NAIA Terminal 3. Genesis Transport also provides Premium Point-to-point bus service to Clark International Airport from NAIA Terminal 3.


All four terminals are also served by local jeepney routes serving Parañaque and Pasay.


The Nichols railway station with the elevated roads above leading to the airport
The Nichols railway station with the elevated roads above leading to the airport

The airport is connected, albeit indirectly, by rail: Baclaran station of the Manila LRT Line 1 and Nichols station of the Philippine National Railways both serve the airport complex.

In the future, with the extension of the existing LRT Line 1, a new station, Manila International Airport station, is set to connect the airport, albeit still indirectly, to the LRT-1. A four-station spur extension of the LRT Line 1, directly connecting Terminal 3 to Baclaran, is also proposed.

Under the new LRT Line 6 proposal, a station will be built near Terminal 1. Once approved, it will directly connect Cavite province with NAIA.[131]

A station of the Metro Manila Subway line will connect the airport directly by rail.[132]


Main article: NAIA Expressway

The NAIA Expressway is the first airport expressway in the Philippines.
The NAIA Expressway is the first airport expressway in the Philippines.

The NAIA Expressway or NAIA Skyway is the first airport expressway and second elevated tollway in the Philippines. It starts from Sales Interchange of Skyway at the boundary of Pasay and Taguig and ends in Entertainment City, Parañaque. The access ramps of the expressway connects with Terminals 1, 2 and 3 of the airport and also connects with Macapagal Boulevard for motorists and commuters going to/coming from Manila and Manila-Cavite Expressway or CAVITEx for motorists and commuters travelling to/from the province of Cavite.

Renaming proposals

There have been several efforts to rename the airport. In May 2018, Larry Gadon led an online petition at aiming to restore the original name of the airport, Manila International Airport (MIA). Gadon said the renaming of MIA to NAIA in 1987 was "well in advance of the 10-year prescription period for naming public sites after dead personalities".[133]

In June 2020, Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, citing the need of the airport to represent the Filipino people, filed a bill seeking to rename the airport to Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas. The bill was also authored by Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco and ACT-CIS Representative Eric Go Yap.[134]

In August 2020, Gadon filed a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the validity of Republic Act 6639, the law which renamed the Manila International Airport to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Gadon asserted that Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. is not among the "pantheon" of the country's declared official heroes. A month later, the Supreme Court unanimously denied for lack of merit the petition to declare the law null and void.[135]

In April 2022, Duterte Youth Representative Ducielle Cardema filed a bill renaming the airport to its original name, Manila International Airport, and stressed the name should not have been "politicized in the first place".[136] Cardema refiled a similar bill in July 2022.[137]

In June 2022, Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. filed a bill renaming the airport to Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport. Teves stressed it is "more appropriate to rename it to the person who has contributed to the idea and execution of the said noble project".[138]

Accidents and incidents

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Further reading